The NLEX Road Warriors and the NorthPort Batang Pier go head to head in the first matchup of Friday’s doubleheader – the last day of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup elimination phase. Read on for a lowdown of this intriguing matchup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Catch this game live on Friday,  July 22 at 3 pm, Manila time.

NLEX Road Warriors  (5-5)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Kevin Alas
  • SG: Don Trollano
  • SF: Calvin Oftana
  • PF: Marion Magat
  • C: Justin Chua

The Road Warriors are back to .500 after breaking a three-game losing skid with a 98-68 statement victory over the Blackwater Bossings last Friday. While Yeng Guiao and the Road Warriors should have their place in the playoffs secured, they could still improve their seed with a win this coming Friday. They have a big opportunity to score one more W before the playoffs of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup, as they will be up against the Batang Pier, whose defense has been regularly torched in this conference. 

In fact, the Batang Pier own the second-worst defensive rating in the league today, allowing 106.3 points per 100 possessions. They are also second overall with 97.6 points given up per contest.  NLEX, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have any major issues getting buckets. The Road Warriors are even third with 102.1 points per 100 possessions.


NorthPort Batang Pier (3-7)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Robert Bolick/Roi Sumang
  • SG: Paolo Taha
  • SF: Arwind Santos
  • PF: Jamie Malonzo
  • C: John Calma

NorthPort couldn’t build on the momentum from its 95-92 win against the Phoenix LPG Fuel Masters on July 14, as the Batang Pier absorbed a 100-93 loss at the hands of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel three days later. That now gives the Batang Pier a 1-7 record over their last eight outings, during which they have allowed an average of 101.1 points. But what makes NorthPort a constantly dangerous team to face for anyone in the PBA is its unquestioned ability to rack up points. 

The Batang Pier, while problematic on defense, is hard to keep up with on the other side of the floor. They are averaging 95.2 points per game. Only the San Miguel Beermen are scoring more points each contest than NorthPort, which is also knocking down 11.7 3-pointers per outing. Considering that the Road Warriors are the worst team in terms of defending against the long ball – opponents are shooting 36.6 3FG% –  the Batang Pier might just have a feast beyond the arc this Friday. 


Spread: NorthPort (+5) covers.

Over/Under: Taking the Over (193.5).